Happy Hen Farm

Bee FAQs

Bee FAQs


The legality of keeping bees varies from municipality to municipality. Check your city ordinances prior to purchasing bees or equipment. We also recommend that you speak with your insurance agent as you decide whether beekeeping is right for you.

Many people are misinformed about bees and are extremely fearful about 'killer' bees.To them every bee is a killer bee, and that is simply not true. This would be a perfect opportunity for you to function as a beekeeping advocate, so before you speak to anyone make sure you are well prepared.

We have both children and pets. Beekeeping has provided a wonderful opportunity for us to spend quality time with our children. The key has been educating them about proper behavior around bees as well as making sure they play an active role in caring for the hives. Our children each have kid sized bee suit and join us when we open the hives. They also assist in the honey harvest and bottling process. We do not recommend that you allow your pets into the beeyard while you work with your hives. Our dogs are allowed free run of the backyard, but when the beehives are open the dogs are kept safely in the house. Dogs are susceptible to the venom in a beesting. A good friend of ours lost his favorite dog to a severe allergic reaction to bee venom.

A healthy hive will house 40,000 - 50,000 bees at the height of the season.

We purchased our bees from a local beekeeper. Package bees can be ordered through the mail. Speak with a beekeeper in your area to find out what possibilities are available in your area. While we are unable to recommend specific companies to you at this time, time spent on Google will provide a wealth of resources.

We spent approximately $600 at the outset to purchase two hives, two adult beesuits, one smoker and various other odds and ends. The cost of bees was an additional expense, as was the honey extractor we decided to purchase for our first harvest. We now have just about everything we need for our bees. Our only expense this year will be to purchase bottles in which to hold our honey.

Not much.

Do not place your hives in high traffic areas. Ours are located in the back corner of our yard across from the tomatoes and next to the fence. The hives are visible from the house, but even during the growing season when we are actively watering and harvesting vegetables we do not provide enough foot traffic to irritate them.


Not at all. Bees will forage up to five miles from the hive as they look for pollen and nectar so while it is nice to have flowers in your yard, it is not necessary.

While you can keep a single hive, it is nice to have two in order to provide opportunities for comparison throughout the season. We have two hives but would have more if we had the space.

Chances are it is. We strongly suggest that you find a beekeeping class in your area prior to purchasing bees and supplies. Beekeepers are a generous lot. Find a local beekeeper that is willing to answer questions about your specific environment. Your local extension agent or garden club might be able to direct you to someone who can answer specific questions about beekeeping in your geographic area.


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